Communicating across borders
Recently, a young businessman reminded me about what really makes a presentation work. In front of 30 business people, Anders Møll, a carpenter by trade, shared the story of how he’s built his business up and why he loves his job. Mark Harvey Simpson, senior consultant, writes about this experience:
What worked so well in Anders’ presentation?
Anders made his story human. He shared the challenges he’d faced in building his business. He showed his passion for his trade and how he’s genuinely interested in his customers. Everyone in our business network BNI Copenhagen now knows that Anders makes sure his staff share his passion for excellent carpentry and customer service. His passion made us all want to listen to his story. And, by the way, Anders did this by simply being himself – staying true to his own style of speaking. Down-to-earth, open and with a smile.
Can we all present like Anders?
Yes – but in our own way. When I train business people, civil servants and scientists to present, we work on how they can be themselves with skill when presenting.
Here are a few questions we should all ask when preparing to be ourselves in a presentation:
- What’s the difference I wish to make for my audience? This difference comprises the ideas and impressions that you wish to imprint in the minds of your audience. Being clear about this makes us better presenters.
- What’s important to me about the subject I’m presenting? Make sure to share why your subject is important to you. You’ll create relevance. You’ll make your audience think - ‘this presenter is personally committed to the subject – I’d better listen’.
- Can I share a story that illustrates the relevance of the subject for me and others? A good personal story will reinforce your message.
For example, on GlobalDenmark’s presentation courses, I tell the story of how nerves sometimes prevented me from enjoying my job when I was a younger teacher and presenter. And I explain how I learnt to deal with nerves, and how we all can do so.
To return to Anders, he reminds us all about three things really. When presenting: - be interested in your audience - show your interest in your subject - be yourself. Be passionate, and people may become passionate about you… and your business.
Mark Harvey Simpson, senior consultant at GlobalDenmark A/S